Lovebite is (left to right) Jacob Ackerman, Matthew Kriemelman, Kevin Conness, Inger Jorgensen, Shannon Harris and Aaron Blenkush (not shown). - Debra Thornton Photography


Vocalist Inger Jorgensen's new project LOVEBITE delivers R&B, funk and rock with a little bit of soul and sass. The band is new — brand-spanking new. Confident in the level of musicianship in the group, Jorgensen debuted LOVEBITE after only three weeks of rehearsals. Its second gig is set for 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, at Alex's Plaza Restaurant, 35 N. Main St., Ashland. The group also is scheduled to perform an Oregon Shakespeare Festival Green Show at 6:45 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, in the OSF courtyard, and at 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, at the Black Sheep, 51 E. Main St., Ashland.

"Because the level of musicianship is so good, we're getting somewhere really fast," says Jorgensen, who, along with Jeff Pevar, forms the duo Bohemian Soul.

A few months back, Jorgensen ran into fellow vocalist Shannon Harris at a show. Harris, originally from Seattle, has lived in the valley for several years. She formerly sang with Funkamungus and occasionally with Salsa Brava and the Havana Club. The ladies, along with bassist Jacob Ackerman, shared their desire to start a funk band and began looking for a prospective members.

Ackerman had formerly played with Josh Jones and Stevie Wonder's guitarist Errol Cooney and studied under Brazilian musician Marcos Silva. Before Jorgensen came into the picture, he and Harris had been trying to form a band.

Harris also recommended guitarist Kevin Conness, who had played with her in other projects. Conness is recognized locally, having played with the Southern Oregon University Jazz Ensemble and SOU's concert band and percussion ensemble as well as with the Rogue Valley Symphony, Monk, Lost Maven, The Legendary Delta Dogs and others.

Jorgensen and Harris also recruited keyboardist Aaron Blenkush, who has directed music for various OSF, Camelot and Ashland High School theater productions, and drummer Matthew Kriemelman, who recently moved to Ashland from Las Vegas, where he worked with the multimedia theatrical production Blue Man Group and the electronic band Kinetic Origins of Rhythm.

"It's a pretty serious band," says Jorgensen. "It's not a fly-by bar band."

Until they can build a cache of originals, LOVEBITE plays "groovy," funk-based covers, including ones by Jarle Bernhoft, Aretha Franklin, Nikka Costa, Graham Central Station, The Brand New Heavies, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson.

Harris and Jorgensen trade off singing lead vocals.

"When she (Harris) sings, I get into it; and when I sing, she gets into it," says Jorgensen. "It's not competitive. It's free and easy and supportive, and I really love it."

Cover to the show at Alex's is $5. Find LOVEBITE on Facebook or call 541-482-8818.

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